AMD Ryzen 5 1500X - Overclocking to 4.2GHz

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X is the newest 4-core, 8-thread processor to come out and at $189.00 it might make for a compelling budget system build that won't break the bank. This AMD Ryzen 5 CPU is a 65W TDP part that has a base clock speed of 3.5GHz and can run all the way up to 3.9GHz thanks to AMD's eXtended Frequency Range (XFR) technology. This processor is priced nearly $160 less than the Intel Core i7-7700K ($345.51 shipped), so the AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs might be the budget processor to get right now. For example you can purchase the Ryzen 5 1500X CPU along with a motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 ($124.95 shipped) and get out the door for under $314. That is over $30 less expensive than buying just the Intel Core i7-7700K processor and will be a big upgrade for any AMD user that happens to still be using an FX era processor. Sure, the AMD B350 motherboards won't have as many PCIe lanes, SATA ports or USB 3 options and do not support multi-GPU setups compared to AMD X370 boards, but they are still overclocking friendly and are inexpensive. Building a high-end quad-core gaming system for a solid 1080P gaming experience has never been as affordable today! AMD Ryzen 5 AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU Stock Specs We already showed you the performance of a stock AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor, but what about overclocked up to the max? AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU Overclock We were able to push the limits of our AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor and was able to increase the all-core clock speed from 3.6GHz all the way up to 4.2GHz! To do this we needed to increase the CPU voltage up to 1.425 on the AMD X370 motherboard that we were using for testing, but our CPU temperatures barely broke the 70C mark since we were using the Corsair Hydro Series H110i Extreme Performance liquid CPU Cooler ($124.00). We were able to get 4GHz stable on all cores with no voltage increase, so overclocking this processor should be easily done. [caption id="attachment_193442" align="aligncenter" width="603"]AMD Ryzen 5 1500X at 4.3GHz AMD Ryzen 5 1500X at 4.3GHz[/caption] It should be noted that you might be able to get 4.3GHz stable on the Ryzen 5 1500X as it felt like we were so close to getting it stable! We ended up settling for 4.2GHz as it was rock solid and wouldn't crash on any of the benchmarks we run in out test suite. Let's take a look at the test system and then move onto the benchmarks!

Our CPU Test Systems

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We tested on five different desktop platforms (Intel Z77, Intel Z97, Intel Z270, Intel X99, AMD A4 and AMD AM3+) in this article, so we'll just quickly touch on each as all shared common parts (CPU Cooler, Video Card, SSD, Power Supply) and only differed in the board, processor, memory kit and memory timings. AMD Ryzen Test System AMD Ryzen 5 1500X HWiNFO The AMD AM4 platform that we used to test the Ryzen 5/7 series processors was running the MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Motherboard with UEFI 1.44 that came out on 4/05/2017. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 2933MHz with 14-14-14-45 1T memory timings as we wanted to test with one of the most popular clock frequencies sold today. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card with GeForce 376.33 WHQL drivers for all of the systems. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply and a Corsair Force MP500 480GB PCIe SSD. A Corsair Hydro Series H110 water cooler for this review. Core i7-7700K Test System Picture The Intel Z270 platform that we used to test the Intel 1151 processors was running the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 with UEFI F5e that came out on 12/28/2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings as we wanted to test with one of the most popular clock frequencies sold today. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card with GeForce 376.33 WHQL drivers for all of the systems. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply, Corsair Hydro Series H105 water cooler and Crucial MX300 1050GB SSDs on all of the desktop systems.
Intel LGA1151 Test Platform



Live Pricing


Intel Core i7-7700K


Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 5 Click Here


16GB Vengeance 3000MHz DDR4 Click Here

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 FE Click Here

Hard Drive

Crucial MX300 1050GB Click Here


Corsair H105 Click Here


Corsair K70 RGB Click Here


Corsair M65 Pro Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here


ASUS VE278Q 27" Click Here

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit Click Here
Intel Z97 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 2801 that came out on 11/15/2015. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 11-11-11-28 1T memory timings. Intel Z77 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1155 processors was running the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H (rev 1.0) motherboard with BIOS F16h that came out on 07/11/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2133 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Intel X99 Platform: The Intel X99 platform we picked to use for the LGA2011-v3 processors was the ASUS X99-E-10G WS board with BIOS 0403 and that is the initial release UEFI as no newer version has come out since the introduction of that board in 2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings. AMD AM3+  Platform: The AMD AM3+ platform that we used to test the AM3+ processors featured the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer  motherboard with BIOS 1.60 that came out on 01/14/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Laptops:  Just for fun we also included Dell XPS 13 9350 and Dell Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop results! These are retail Dell laptops with clean installs of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 installed for comparison to the desktop platforms. Let's take a look at overclocking and move onto the benchmarks!

Real World Benchmarks

Dolphin 5.0 x64 Emulator Benchmark: link

The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release happened in 2016 and thanks to a major cleaning up of the codebase Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. Dolphin is considered by many to be the best Nintendo Wii emulator for PC you can find. It also works for Gamecube. We are running the official Dolphin 5.0 benchmark as it offers closer mapping to real world Dolphin performance as the previous version was extremely floating point heavy. We feel this is a pretty good general CPU benchmark for real world performance as emulation workloads are something that most gamers will run at one point or another.  We benchmark the standard Wii homebrew application and run it with the speed limit set to 'unlimited' and the External Frame Buffer set to 'real' in case you wanted to run this on your personal system.

Agisoft Photoscan 1.2.6 x64 - 2D to 3D Image Manipulation Benchmark: link

Agisoft PhotoScan is a stand-alone software product that performs photogrammetric processing of 2D digital images and generates 3D spatial data to be used in GIS applications, cultural heritage documentation, and visual effects production as well as for indirect measurements of objects of various scales. We us the 50 images from the 'Building' sample data download page for our benchmark. We take the total time it takes to complete four steps: Align Photos, Build Dense Cloud, Build Model, Build Texture with all the default settings for each.

KeyShot 6.3 - 3D Rendering and Animation: link

KeyShot 3D rendering and animation software is one of the fastest, easiest way to create amazing, photographic visuals of your 3D data. We installed KeyShot 6.3 to do some benchmarking and real-world stress testing using the camera_benchmark.bip scene that is included with the application. This benchmark tests a 800x554 pixel image with a continuous sample rate and shows the Frames Per Second (FPS) that the scene is being rendered from. This scene has nearly 42,000 triangles and does a good job at using all available cores to render the scene.

Blender 2.78a Open Source 3D Creation Benchmark: link

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. We use the BMW CPU Benchmark (CCO, 3MB) created by Mike Pan for our testing. Real World Benchmark Results Summary: The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor likes to be overclocked as we saw a 14.3% performance improvement in Blender, a 17.4% improvement in Keyshot, a  7.8% boost in Photoscan and an 11.7% jump in performance in Dolphin. We'll take 8-14 percent performance increases all day long, so overclocking this chip up to 4.2 GHz was worth it!

Media Encoding & Encryption Benchmarks

HandBrake v1.0.1 - link

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded. We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. For our benchmark scenario we used a standard 2D 4K (3840x2160) 60 FPS clip in the MP4 format and used Handbrake version 1.0.1 to do two things. We used the new Fast 1080p30 preset to shrink that down to a 1920 x 1080 video clip to reduce the file size. This is something people often do to save space to put movies onto mobile devices. We also ran the workload using the normal preset as it puts the CPU at a higher load than the Fast 1080p30 preset.

X264 HD Encoding - link

the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test.   Media Encoding Benchmark Results Summary: The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X overclock gave us a 12.3% performance boost in Handbrake 1080p Fast and we were nearly as fast as an Intel Core i7-6700K stock processor in that tough encoding test.  In the X264 benchmark we were just 1-2 FPS behind the Intel Core i7-7700K and 6700K processors on the second pass. The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X overclocked is 31% faster than the stock AMD FX-8370 CPU.

VeraCrypt 1.19 - link

VeraCrypt is an open-source disk encryption software brought to you by IDRIX and is a fork based on the discontinued TrueCrypt 7.1a utility. The developers claim that weaknesses found in TrueCrypt have been resolved with the VeraCrypt project. This is a popular utility used by people that don't want to use Microsoft's built-in encyption tool for Windows 10 called Bitlocker. Encryption Benchmark Results Summary: Overclocking the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X yielded a nice 15.6% performance increase in encryption performance putting it withing striking distance of a stock Ryzen 7 1700X 8-core processor!
Let's look at web browsing performance on Ryzen 5!

Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks

Mozilla Kraken 1.1: link

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. Kraken uses a test harness based on the SunSpider benchmark. Results are reported in milliseconds (lower is better).

Google Octane 2.0: link

Octane 2.0 is a benchmark created by Google that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests that is supposed to be representative of today’s complex and demanding web applications. Octane‘s goal is to measure the performance of JavaScript code found in large, real-world web applications, running on modern mobile and desktop browsers. The latest Octane 2.0 benchmark includes four new tests to measure new aspects of JavaScript performance, including garbage collection / compiler latency and asm.js-style JavaScript performance.

JetStream 1.1: link

JetStream combines a variety of JavaScript benchmarks, covering a variety of advanced workloads and programming techniques, and reports a single score that balances them using geometric mean. JetStream includes benchmarks from the SunSpider 1.0.2 and Octane 2 JavaScript benchmark suites. It also includes benchmarks from the LLVM compiler open source project, compiled to JavaScript using Emscripten 1.13. It also includes a benchmark based on the Apache Harmony open source project's HashMap and a port of the CDx benchmark, hand-translated to JavaScript.

WebXPRT 2015: link

WebXPRT 2015 uses scenarios created to mirror the tasks you do every day to compare the performance of almost any Web-enabled device. It contains six HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Enhancement, Organize Album, Stock Option Pricing, Local Notes, Sales Graphs, and Explore DNA Sequencing. Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks Results Summary: When it comes to online browsing we saw some great performance increases by overclocking the Ryzen 5 1500X CPU up to 4.2 GHz. WebXPRT shows performance went up 12.8% and we went up 7.3% in JetStream.

Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 SP3 Memory Bandwidth: link

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 is a utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. This test has been popular for CPU and memory benchmarks for well over a decade and it is one of the easiest benchmarks out there to run. Memory Bandwidth Results Summary: Memory performance on Ryzen 5 is very similar to that of Ryzen 7 processors, so nothing new or shocking to note here! Since our overclock didn't change the memory clock frequency we didn't expect to see any performance gains here.

3DMark & Cinebench

Futuremark 3DMark 2.2.3509 - link

3DMark is a popular gaming performance benchmark that includes everything you need to benchmark your PC whether you're gaming on a desktop PC, laptop, notebook, or a tablet. 3DMark includes seven benchmark tests and we'll be running 'Sky Diver' that is aimed at gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.

Maxon Cinebench R15.038 - link 

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.   3DMark and Cinebench Benchmarks Results Summary: The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X performance went up by 14.6% in the multi-CPU test in Cinebench and by 15.5% 3DMark Fire Strike Physics test!

Discrete GPU Gaming Performance


Thief is a series of stealth video games in which the player takes the role of Garrett, a master thief in a fantasy/steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with more advanced technologies interspersed. Thief is the fourth title in the Thief series, developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix on February 25, 2014. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015.  Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos.  It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations. The game was released on August 23rd, 2016 for PC users and we are using it to show DX12 performance on the CPUs that we tested. DX12 removed most all of the CPU overhead, so we wanted to see what happens to performance on DX12 game titles as well. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; DX12 enabled, exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz, medium graphics. Discrete Gaming Benchmarks Results Summary: On the three game titles we tested with, the overclocked Ryzen 5 1500X processor improved performance by 6.3% in Thief, 8.1% in GTAV and 8.8% in Dues Ex: Mankind Divided at 1080p. No double digit performance increases were to be had with the overclock when it comes to 1080p gaming benchmarks, but at least we were seeing significant single digit performance gains of greater than five percent. Let's take a look at power consumption.

Power Consumption

No review is complete without taking a look at power and did find the overclocked AMD Ryzen 5 1500X consumed slightly more power than a stock Ryzen 5 1500X, which isn't too shocking as we had to increase the CPU voltage in the UEFI to get the overclock stable. The chart above is getting really full, so be sure to click on it and see it at the full size. At idle the stock AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Processor used 44.2W and when overclocked out idle power draw on the system went up to 50.2W.  At load the stock Ryzen 5 1500X topped out at 261W in Thief and with the overclock that increased up to 287 Watts. So, our overclock increased power consumption by about 6 Watts at idle and around 25 Watts when doing some 1080P gaming.

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Temperatures at 4.2GHz

We used AIDA64 to look at temperatures on the Ryzen 5 1500X processors and came up with some pretty interesting results. With the Corsair Hydro water cooler we were getting idle temps of around 22C and load temps of 38C on a 10 minute long AIDA64 5.90 stability test on the Ryzen 5 1500X processor. This didn't seem right, so we fired up AMD Ryzen Master. AMD Ryzen Master showed we would idle at 28-29C and then doing the AIDA64 stress test again we were up in the 71-72C temperature range. It looks like something is off with the latest build of AIDA64, so we'll say this overclocked processor is running above 70C at load with liquid cooling it. Let's wrap up this review!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X at $189.00 shipped is a nice quad-core that we were able to easily overclock up to 4.2GHz with no issues at all. The performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X overclocked up to 4.2GHz was pretty damn good, but it wasn't able to catch up to a stock clocked Intel Core i7-7700K processor in the majority of the benchmarks that we ran today. Despite failing to dethrone Intel we feel that the 4-core-8-thread Ryzen 5 1500X processor will still make AMD fans happy. If you are still running an older dual-core system and have been waiting for the Ryzen series to come out then you'll see some big performance gains. The Ryzen 5 1500X processor gives you a very responsive system that loves multi-threaded applications and the 1080p gaming performance is good enough. AMD has also been making Ryzen platform enhancements, so the UEFI builds are getting better, there is an AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan now and some game titles will be getting Ryzen performance updates.
RYZEN 7 1800X 8 16 3.6 4.0 N/A 95 $495
RYZEN 7 1700X 8 16 3.4 3.8 N/A 95 $389
RYZEN 7 1700 8 16 3.0 3.7 Wraith Spire 65 $320
RYZEN 5 1600X 6 12 3.6 4.0 N/A 95 $249
RYZEN 5 1600 6 12 3.2 3.6 Wraith ​​Spire 95 $219
RYZEN 5 1500X 4 8 3.5 3.7 Wraith Spire 65 $189
RYZEN 5 1400 4 8 3.2 3.4 Wraith Stealth 65 $169
The only downside to the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor is that it only has 4-cores and for an extra $30 you can get a 6-core processor like the Ryzen 5 1600. We weren't sent the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor to review, but if you are worried about core counts and like to overclock, it might be the best processor of the bunch at $219. Hopefully we'll be able to get our hands on a Ryzen 5 1600 sample here soon to see what that processor can really do. When it comes to motherboard choices for the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X you'll likely be looking at AMD B350 chipset based boards and for that there are a wide variety of boards to pick from with prices starting out at under $100. Some of the popular boards right now are the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming ($104.95 shipped), Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 ($124.95 shipped), ASUS Prime B350-Plus ($99.99 shipped ) and the MSI B350 Tomahawk ($109.99 shipped). Depending on the board you pick out you might be able to pick up a the 1500X and a B350 board for right around $300. Not a bad deal for the level of performance that you get! LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X offers solid performance when overclocked to 4.2GHz and for $189 it won't break the bank!